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January 10, 2013


Interested to know

I'm glad you brought up the estimates of the people criticizing you. They have consistently been off by tens of millions.

More importantly, the spin from Nokia and Microsoft continues. Every quarter they claim that the turnaround is almost here. Yet it never arrives.

And now that WP8 is out and the few early adopters have already gotten theirs, sales will stagnate and decline.


So as long as there are four Christmases next year, Nokia should be back to quarterly profits!


well it looks like nokia PR was fast trying to spin the mediocre numbers they posted
4.4m is a utter failure.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi John, Interested, Jbs and jo

First to all - I deleted a few trolls who clearly didn't read this blog were I state categorically that I was wrong with the Kantar split but still was right on the overall Nokia smarpthone sales projection for Q4.

Now to comments

John - thanks and yes we agree. Note, the independent surveys also say the same, Yankee's survey of Lumia satisfaction is disasterous (4 out of 10 rating it the worst phone they've ever seen) and the Bernstein survey of US and European smartphone owners finding only 37% of Windows Phone owners willing to return to the brand on their next purchase behind Blackberry 57%, Android 75% and iPhone 95%. No wonder Lumia prices instantly fall and the line has zero resale value. If I was a retailer, I wouldn't let my staff sell Lumias either to my customers...

Interested - thanks, yeah, I'm kinda used to it. Almost every 'discovery' I make in this industry will rub some people the wrong way, who then attack me as a heretic, from real camera supporters to iPod fans to the laptop users to now yes, Microsoft trolls haha..

Jbs - great plan. Now how can we achieve that?

jo - totally agree. Nokia sold 4M Lumias in Q2 of 2012, and that was sad performance in the third quarter of Windows Phone on Nokia. Now 6 months later they only manage 10% bette? Pathetic

Thank you all for the comments, keep the discussion going

Tomi Ahonen :-)


The astrosurfers are celebrating today, Tomi missed to predict the smartphone sales for Q4. Too bad for you that WP is still a failure, and its marketshare is shrinking for every quarter that passes. But dont feel bad, at least you can feel unique owning a WP smartphone, when every person walks around with an iOS or Android device. You are as special as the people that own Zune or a Surface RT tablet.


So what is those people claim? The cup half empty or half full? Even if Tomi fail he was closer than those who claim sales around. 8-10 m.
The problem is Nokia is going nowhere and people dont understand.
And sorry no WP for me even i like Nokia and always i used Nokias.



Sure, everyone needs to admit that you've forecasted things well, better than others. Congratulations on that!

I guess why people now may get mad is that they are not necessarily able to follow your revised forecasts. Not a lot you can do about it, I guess.

Keep it up, I'd say that it's going to be tougher in the next few quarters. Wish you best of luck in finding the correct figures in your crystal ball.

You may want to fix one mistake in your blog. Your last but one forecast was not made in November, but it was made on December 7.

Other thing you might want to keep in mind. In August you said WP will be 1-2% in 2013. In November you said it will never pass 2%. Now you say 2-3%. Not a huge issue, but I just want you to know you are being followed. Just like you follow other analysts and let them know if they make mistakes.


Great that Nokia is doing better but Lumia numbers look bad. New WP8 models finally released, crazy discounts for old Lumias, still christmas sales only 4.4M. Nokia really needs new smartphone strategy.


Could we please keep in mind the millions of poor souls who contracted a Lumia phone? There are less victems than was feared, but every sufferer is one too many.


@P. Bokkelman

Yes, Nokia is still doomed with Windows Phone. It just doesn't sell. I'm finn and like NSN and Asha models are doing fine but can't accept dropping market shares in smartphones due to WP.


That would be interesting to know how much Nokia earned from these 4.4M Windows Phones (including 0$ Lumia 900/800/710 - with a plan) ?

Why I ask this question is because I foresee a messy Q4 report :

- Sale of HQ, patent trolls, employees jettison all around the world (including China), sales of patents and of business units will raise Nokia's income.

- They sold more Lumia than expected

So it should be all good : better sales, better income

But, many financial analysts are not fooled : they also look at the assets, at the debt, and there, the picture is not necessarily bright.

So the illusion is good, but not perfect. Anyway, I'm quite sure they'll repeat their trick on jan. 25th, hiding bad figures with good ones...

Nokia is kind of Potemkin's village I think


@S: Elop and Nokia continue to pat themselves over the back for mediocre results. Having a goal of breaking even, and touting "underlying profitability" (which suggests no net profitability) is sad. It seems it will take a major shock (Elop fired, Nokia turning to Android, sale or bankruptcy, something like that) to convince some people of the ongoing problems. When it happens, people like that will say "What happened?! I thought they were doing so well!"

On the other hand, if Nokia achieves actual profitability, and it becomes sustainable (which it is not; the pre-earnings warn of expected losses for Q1), then people like me will say "What happened?! I thought they were doomed!"

The estimates say: Expect continued low WP sales, continued struggles for Nokia, no known great hope that will save them quickly and easily.


PS. 1 : Well done Eldar Murtazin and Jonathan MacDonald for the prediction; they were even closer than Tomi (you were quite optimistic last year Tomi ;) )

PS.2 : Am I the only one who faces Cabalistic, Greek or Hebraic characters that don't even exist on my keyboard when I have to enter the captcha ?


Here in Europe, the biggest discounter Aldi (the European version of Walmart) is dumping the old Lumia 800/900 phones at extremely low prices (150 EUR).

Tomi: this might partially explain the higher numbers of sold Lumia's...



Read Nokia's press release again ; they're not as positive as you are :

Seasonality and competitive environment are expected to have a negative impact on the first quarter 2013 underlying profitability for Devices & Services, compared to the fourth quarter 2012.



I somehow can't shake off the feeling while reading the report that it can be summarized as, 'Yes, we made some profit, but it looks more like a fluke, not some fundamental turnaround.'

Not good signs if you ask me.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi effex, geektech, CN, JJ and winter

effex - actually I didn't miss the forecast, I got two out of 3 parts of the Nokia Q4 forecast essentially spot-on, the most important being the big number, total smartphone sales, I said 6.8M, Nokia delivered 6.6M. I also said 3% market share, which is exactly what Nokia has. Where I went wrong was the split, I thought 2/3 Symbian vs Lumia, based on the Kantar finding, but it was the other way around. Two out of three elements of the Nokia Q4 forecast is not that bad, try to find me any published forecast from December that was more accurate haha ie had all 3 correct. I doubt you'll find anyone.

geektech - totally correct and yes, Nokia promised 1 to 1 conversion from Symbian to Windows Phone, in February 2011 when the Microsoft strategy was announced. So far out of 26.6 million attempted Symbian conversions per quarter, only 4.4 million have succeeded so Nokia has bled 22.2 million loyal Nokia smarpthone users to rival brands. Elop's strategy failure rate runs at 85%. And he is still allowed to remain as CEO? Why?

CN - thanks, I really appreciate that. This is not easy, prognosticating about such a highly volatile industry and still remaining the most accurate forecaster in mobile haha.. About the 2% or 3% - that may be difference between Nokia Lumia forecast ie Nokia Windows Phone (smaller), vs Total Windows Phone share with all manufacturers (bigger), as my gut feeling suggests, but yeah, I would need to go take a look. At that level, 2% or 3%, it really doesn't matter if Apple has 22% and Android 70%..

JJ - totally agree. And note, the 4.4 million now in Q4 is only 10% up from Nokia's next best quarter of Lumia sales ever, which was Q2. so in 6 months of massive hype and marketing, while the industry grew 60%, Nokia only managed to inch up a lousy 10%.. Pathetic really.

winter - LOL, yes, soon we need to help set up a charity to assist those with Lumianus-Windowsia the crippling condition of having contracted a Windows Phone based smartphone made by Nokia.

Keep the comments coming and don't even bother to respond to the trolls, I'm policing them out.

Anyone who wants to pick on my supposed inaccuracy in Nokia forecasting - I was the most accurate Nokia forecaster again for this quarter - find me anyone who is published in May 2011 or June 2012 or December 2012 with a better number than what I published. Else don't bother to try to claim I was wrong. I was still the most accurate while I generally am too optimistic still, about Nokia (I love Nokia)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Congratulation Tomi

Last year you predicted the incredible decline of Nokia smartphone, and what was looking impossible, was at the end even a bit too optimistic

You did predict 5m Lumia for Q4 2012 ... down from a previous prediction of 7m ... and you have been super precise.

Now, I'm curious to se if you can forecast 2013 Nokia Lumia ... my feeling is that Q4 2013 could be no more then 5m Lumia ... possibly less then Q4 2012 ... but ... you are the expert ... so ..looking forward for a new forecast for full year 2013 and maybe above 2013




Good post, even excellent post ! Thank you Mister Ahonen.

While you talk about Eldar.. His site is dead since end of July.. Anybody knows where he is ?


Here's another image based on Tomi's figures:

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